Naaman Roosevelt is quickly making an impression in Saskatchewan.
The speedy receiver caught the attention of Rider Nation last week when he scored a 71-yard touchdown against the Ottawa Redblacks, which just so happens to be the team’s longest touchdown of the season.
“The coaches, they always talk about when it’s your turn, make the best out of it. So, when I get the opportunity, I just want to make the best out of it,” said Roosevelt.
This opportunity is an important one for Roosevelt as the team starts to look forward to 2016. A strong performance could land him a job with the team next year.
“Naaman is somebody that is definitely trying to learn every little detail, whenever it comes down to learning a route a concept or how to run a route or how to get open,” – receivers coach Jeremaine Copeland
Roosevelt joined the Riders in the offseason after spending some time with the Buffalo Bills of the NFL.
The Buffalo, NY native quickly caught the eye of the team during their mini-camp in Florida in April. Roosevelt continued to impress during training camp but didn’t get his chance to play in the regular season until veterans Taj Smith and Jamel Richardson were shut down for the season.
Roosevelt wasted no time making an impression scoring his first CFL touchdown in the first half.
Despite his play, Roosevelt is never satisfied.
“Naaman is somebody that is definitely trying to learn every little detail, whenever it comes down to learning a route a concept or how to run a route or how to get open,” said receivers coach Jeremaine Copeland.
Copeland feels that Roosevelt’s willingness to learn is one of his better qualities. Roosevelt’s play this season hasn’t been a surprise to Copeland thus far.
“He’s showed that he’s a true professional,” he said.
Right now, Roosevelt feels there’s no better coach to learn from than Copeland.
“He had a great career up here. For me, it’s just take everything he teaches me and just put it out there on the field,” said Roosevelt.
“He’s a great coach and just a great person. For me, it’s just soaking everything in.”
When Roosevelt talks about soaking everything in, he literally means it.
Roosevelt spent some time this year searching Copeland on YouTube to see what kind of player his coach was. On top of the plays Copeland made, Roosevelt naturally found a number of his unique celebrations with the Calgary Stampeders.
“(My favourite) definitely has to be the row boat. Yeah, that was good,” he said.
“(Copeland) tells us to have fun. Have fun, go out there and have fun.”
So far, it appears that Roosevelt is having plenty of fun.
NEWS AND NOTES
A few players on the six-game injured list are getting closer to returning. Offensive lineman Levy Adcock and linebacker Jake Doughty and Nathan Kanya returned to practice. All three are eligible to practice and play next week against the Lions in Vancouver.
Receivers Nic Demski did not practice on Wednesday. Receiver Rob Bagg was also limited. Interim head coach Bob Dyce felt both just needed another day off and should play on Sunday against Montreal. Defensive back Terrell Maze also did not practice. He missed last week’s game with a concussion.
The future of linebacker Shea Emry was also discussed on Wednesday. Dyce was asked if he was confident that Emry could return this season, Dyce said no. Interim general manager Jeremy O’Day finally confirmed what most suspended on Tuesday when he said that Emry has been dealing with a concussion all year.